A man has attributed a significant improvement in his type 2 diabetes to his rescue puppy.
Ron Lightfoot from Salisbury was diagnosed with the condition in 2011, with his health declining further because of personal issues. A combination of physical and mental health problems forced him to retire early from his job of 30 years, which only caused more isolation for the 59-year-old.
Speaking to the Daily Express newspaper, he said: “I had no reason to get up and get out of the house.”
His doctor had urged him to try to lose weight and focus on his diabetes management, but Ron struggled with motivation until he met his four-legged friend.
Ron said: “Getting a dog had been mentioned a few times as a way to get me out and about, but until I retired, I wasn’t really in a position to commit to owning a dog.”
Because he no longer had work to think of, Ron decided to visit his local Dogs Trust rehoming centre, where he met Charlie the dog.
Ron said that adopting Charlie has been “the best decision I have ever made” and the animal has given him “years of my life back”.
Together, they now walk 10 miles a day and Rob has lost nearly four stone in weight, greatly improving his type 2 diabetes. His mental health has also improved significantly.
Ron said: “I’ve always liked the idea of walking to improve my health, the thought of doing it alone never appealed to me. That all changed the day I got Charlie because I knew that no matter what, he needed exercise. Little did I know that he would have quite such a profound impact on my life.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, Charlie has not only done wonders for my physical health but having a reason to get out of bed has improved my state of mind. He is a cheeky chappy and makes me laugh every day. He loves meeting new people so, when we’re out on our walks, I end up chatting to people that I would’ve usually walked past if I didn’t have Charlie.
“Now my days are full of walking and talking, which they definitely wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for Charlie. I feel like a better person since he came into my life. He genuinely has helped my soul.”
The Dogs Trust is a dog welfare charity that runs 21 dog rehoming centres in the UK and never puts healthy dogs to sleep.

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